Intramural Project

Quantum Optics

Is Psi a type of Knowledge?

Principal Investigator
Dean Radin, PhD

This experiment investigated the effect of a distant observer on a quantum optics system. The question was whether this form of “psi observation” would cause a change in the photons’ quantum wave-functions. A Michelson interferometer was located inside a sealed, light-tight, double steel-walled shielded chamber, and participants sat quietly outside the chamber with eyes closed. Interference patterns were recorded by a cooled CCD camera once per second, and average illumination levels of these images were compared during counterbalanced “mental blocking” vs. non-blocking conditions. A lower overall level of illumination was predicted to occur during the blocking condition due to partial collapse of the quantum wave function.

Based on 18 experimental sessions, the outcome was significantly in accordance with the prediction (z = -2.82, p = 0.002). This result was primarily due to nine sessions involving experienced meditators (combined z = -4.28, p = 9.4 × 10-6); the other nine sessions with non or beginning meditators were not significant (combined z = 0.29, p = 0.61). The same protocol run immediately after each test session with no one present revealed no hardware or protocol artifacts that might have accounted for these results (combined z = 1.50, p = 0.93). Other conventional explanations were considered and judged to be implausible. This study supports the idea that psi is a direct means of gaining knowledge, because knowledge of which-path information in a quantum optics system will cause the wave function to collapse.

See related Research Paper:
Testing Non-local Observation as a Source of Intuitive Knowledge

We would like to acknowledge the following for supporting this project:

Bial Foundation

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